Sixty Seconds of Salary
April 5, 2013 2:37 PM   Subscribe

Sixty Seconds of Salary
An animated data visualization I designed in association with CNNMoney went live this morning. It shows and compares salaries for different people (Kobe Bryant, ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, a minimum wage worker, a physician, etc), accumulating in real-time for 1 minute. Watch the disparity grow second by second!
Role: Designer/animator
posted by edlundart (6 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

I like it - reminds me of those planet/star-size visualizations.
posted by Celsius1414 at 3:28 PM on April 5, 2013 [1 favorite]

You need some one way out there, or is Tillerson that? They had a thing on NPR the other morning where they were saying one of the Koch brothers made something like 2 million dollars an hour last year (or a million times what a waitress gets per hour). I guess I would like a longer timeline than a minute, though I realize that undermines the point. Maybe include a slider that lets the person go nuts?
posted by cjorgensen at 7:04 PM on April 5, 2013

I like the concept and am generally a fan of rendering income inequality in clear terms...but I have some questions.

1. Why is Kobe on there? He's kind of an outlier. I'm not sure what the takeaway is. If the goal is to compare aggregate levels of income for CEOs vs. teachers or minimum wage workers, for instance, I get a little distracted by having a major sports celebrity in there. It also skews a little because of course that's not his lifetime level of income.

2. If Rex Tillerson as CEO is supposed to be the whale, why does the narration say "Some CEOs make even more?" Why not do an average of Fortune 500 CEOs the way there's an average of teachers, for instance?
posted by Miko at 8:01 PM on April 5, 2013

Thanks for the feedback and suggestions! Tillerson is high up on the list of high-earning CEOs, but not at the very top. I chose him for reasonable name recognition, the fact that he works for a company everyone knows and understands, and his total compensation is less unclear than some others (not that there isn't data, but CEOs are compensated in a variety of complex ways). Many other people "make" much more money, but usually they make it by way of investments or business dealings, not salaries.

I could have done an average for star athletes (or just athletes) and an average for CEOs, but using some real names seemed more compelling and concrete. It's very obviously a very limited selection of people, which I think makes it fairly clear that this is a bit of a random grab bag of people and types of people from across the spectrum. It's not in any way completist kind of thing, more of a sample.

I say "some CEOs make even more" to suggest Tillerson is an example of a highly paid CEO, and not a guy I'm singling out as the only CEO to make bank. But your questions and suggestions are all reasonable, and I appreciate your thoughts! There are definitely a ton of different ways one could go about this.
posted by edlundart at 8:46 PM on April 5, 2013

I couldn't tell...are we comparing the areas or diameters of the circles? That seems important somehow.
posted by klausman at 10:54 PM on April 7, 2013

It's using area. Diameters would not be right.
posted by edlundart at 11:51 PM on April 7, 2013

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